Maryland Filmmaker Receives $25K Grant From American Express

Alyscia Cunningham
3 min readNov 19, 2020

Documentary film director and author, Alyscia Cunningham, is one of 100 black, woman-owned businesses to be awarded the grant from the credit card giant.

Graphic w/ AmEx & iFundWomen logos. “I started my business to change how we see beauty.” Alyscia Cunningham — Her House Media

SILVER SPRING, MD — American Express has selected Silver Spring native and talented filmmaker/author, Alyscia Cunningham, as one its “100 for 100” program grant recipients. The credit card giant created the program in partnership with IFundWomen of Color, the leading platform for women of color to raise capital, to support Black women entrepreneurs as they work to jump start and grow their business ventures.

The initiative is part of the financial company’s recently announced $1 billion action plan to enhance diverse representation and promote equal opportunities for its colleagues, customers and communities.

“The Black women entrepreneurs selected for the program have created many types of innovative, early-stage businesses across the country, inspiring and carving new paths for others to follow,” said Clayton Ruebensaal, EVP Global B2B Marketing, American Express. “Their business plans demonstrate that great ideas often come out in times of hardship, and American Express is committed to continuing to back small businesses and advance equal opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly during these challenging times.”

According to Cunningham, she plans to use the $25,000 grant to fund her upcoming art exhibition, which is scheduled to take place on March 17, 2021 in Sandy Spring, MD. The event will feature 3D tactile portraits accompanied by audio descriptions from her inspirational book, I Am More Than My Hair. The book tells the stories of brave women living with the debilitating skin condition known as alopecia, a common autoimmune condition, in which hair follicles are damaged by a misguided immune system. The filmmaker hopes her documentary changes the way people view beauty and female hair loss.

Cunningham said her ability to reach even more people through her upcoming art exhibition is all possible thanks to the generous grant she recently received. American Express worked closely with IFundWomen of Color to select and surprise 100 unique and passionate innovators, such as Cunningham, across a number of different industries including fashion and beauty…

Alyscia Cunningham

Mom, wife, artist, advocate, writer, Pisces, dreamer, truth seeker, positive thinker, hiker, adventurer, traveler, entrepreneur, author, filmmaker, photographer